POINTS OF INTEREST
AThe castle was founded soon after the Norman conquest of 1066 by William de Warenne and was initially a stone ‘country house’. During the first half of the 12th-century, however, more disturbed conditions prompted its progressive conversion into a strong keep, further defended by stone walls and an immense system of ditched earthworks.
Still impressively visible, these are perhaps the finest village earthworks in England. Free entry, open all year.
BCastle Acre Priory was inspired by the monastery at Cluny in France and was home to a community of monks until 1537, when Henry VIII disbanded all monastic houses. The priory’s ruins span seven centuries and include a beautiful 12th-century church with an elaborately decorated west front, still rising to its full height, a 15th-century gatehouse and a porch, and prior’s lodging still fit to live in.
The recreated herb garden situated next to the visitor centre grows herbs that the monks would have used for medicinal, strewing, culinary and decorative purposes. Visit english-heritage.org.uk for opening times and prices.
CPeddars Way follows a Roman road built along the line of an even older trackway. The name, Peddars Way, is said to be derived from the Latin ‘pedester’, which means ‘on foot’. The trail starts in the Brecks, a unique area of forest, heath and low river valleys, running north from Knettishall Heath in Suffolk, for 46 miles through changing countryside to the north Norfolk coast near Hunstanton.
DNar Valley Way is a 33-mile-long walking trail meandering through contrasting landscapes between the medieval town of King’s Lynn and the Farm and Workhouse museum in Gressenhall.
The route follows quiet tracks and lanes, crossing farmland and passing through woods, meadows and commons. The River Nar is never far away, with long stretches of riverside path to enjoy.
Open farmland around Mileham contrasts with the expansive lowland panoramas near King’s Lynn, and the intimate woodland glades found at West Acre and Narborough.
BELOW: The castle